Perhaps she spent her summers listening to Petula Clark, or perhaps she grew up in a small town lacking an entertainment hub. In any case, Jennifer Moulton has a big thing for downtowns. An architect and director of the city and county of Denver's Community Planning and Development Agency, Moulton is an advocate for the "24-hour downtown," an attractive and distinct neighborhood of its own. Colorado Springs leaders and residents will have the chance to learn from the Colorado College graduate when she speaks in Palmer Hall on the CC Campus at 6 p.m. Ten Steps to a Living Downtown is free, and is sponsored by the Historic Preservation Alliance of Colorado Springs. Call 471-3454 to find out more.
Culture abounds today as two large art exhibits open in the Pikes Peak region ...
The Business of Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave., will administer the third biennial dose of Pressure, an exhibit of print works from artists from Colorado and the seven states surrounding our fair mountain home. Artwork will include lithographs, books, solar etchings, monotypes, drypoint, woodcuts, intaglio and clay prints. The exhibit, curated by Clinton Cline, will hang until July 9. The opening reception for Pressure will begin at 5 p.m. and admission is free. Call 685-1861.
Artists Linda Lazzarini, Michael Cellan, Scott Beram, Betty Ross and Liz Szabo have created several two- and three-dimensional pieces honoring the human form for Body of Evidence, which opens tonight. The show at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, in Palmer Lake, has been juried by David Jenkins, director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m. Call 481-0475 for more.
Now that warm weather is here to stay, musicians are beginning to crawl from their dens to perform some of the new songs and arrangements that came to them during their long winter sleep at one of the many wonderful area outdoor music festivals. One of the first this year is the 11th annual Bluegrass on the River Festival in Pueblo. Over 33 hours of pickin' and grinnin' will be presented by such skilled and talented performers as The Grasshoppers, Pete Wernick's Live Five, Black Rose, Cheyenne Lonesome, Elliot's Ramblers, Bluegrass Patriots, Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band and a bunch more. The festival, which is the third largest of its kind in the state, is held on the banks of the Arkansas River at the Greenway and Nature Center. Over 5,000 people come each year to listen, dance and camp, as well as walk along the river and check out the food, drink and art vendors who hang out for the weekend. The best part of the fest is that it costs only $15 for the entire weekend. Compare that to Telluride. Kids 7 to 11 are only $3. Saturday only passes are $10, and Sunday is just $7. Camping is available beginning Friday, and is $15 for both Friday and Saturday nights. The festival kicks off today at 10 a.m. Call 719/549-2414 or visit http://www.uscolo.edu/gnc/bg.html for more information.
The old Butte Opera House in Cripple Creek, freshly renovated, will open tonight with -- what else -- a melodrama. The Mackin family, who produced the melodramas in the gold camp from 1946 to 1991, will produce this performance by the Cripple Creek Players, titled My Partner. Classic vaudeville acts will also appear, beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $6 to $12. Call 689-2513 or check out http://www.cripplecreekplayers.com. The melodrama season will run through the summer and end on Labor Day. 04 Sunday
You're going to need good socks today. Perhaps wool, or maybe fleece, but for the love of Pete, not cotton. It's National Trails Day, and hiking in cotton is just asking for blisters, especially when hiking with Florissant Fossil Beds park ranger Harv Burman. Burman will lead a moderately difficult 10-mile hike through the hills of the Fossil Beds, all the while teaching participants about native flora and fauna and some of the human history of the Monument. Those who don't want to hike the whole ten miles will have many opportunities to turn back to the Visitor Center. Weather at 8,400 feet can be varied, so bring a hat, jacket, sunscreen, etc. Also bring water and a lunch. The hike is free, but you must call 719/748-3253 to reserve your place.
The legendary flatpicker Norman Blake quit school at age 16 to play mandolin in a band and has spent his life making music and winning awards ever since. Though he has never truly left his home in Chattanooga, Tenn., Blake has traveled far and performed with such players as June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash, Marty Stuart, Rodney Crowel, the Nitty Gritty Dirt band, Bob Dylan and Michelle Shocked, to name a few. Blake will be performing his purely American music at the Smokebrush Theater, 235 S. Nevada Ave. Tickets are $18, and the concert begins at 7 p.m. Call 444-0884.
The colorful, talented, and seemingly rubberized members of Cirque du Soleil will be setting up camp in the parking lot of Denver's Pepsi Center today. They've come to perform their newest show, Dralion, which begins tonight at 8 and will run through July 16. Tickets to the acrobatic extravaganza are $30.50 to $55. Call 800/678-5440 for details.
Partake of a Victorian tea with finger sandwiches this afternoon in the prize iris beds of the Western Museum of Mining and Industry, 1025 North Gate Road. The 27-acre property on the northeastern edge of Colorado Springs will host local iris experts John Knudtson and Betty Roberts, who will present the finer points of creating and nurturing a healthy, beautiful iris bed in this dry, rocky climate. Admission is $12.50, and the Tea in the Garden begins at 1 p.m. Call Jeffrey Holm at 488-0880 to RSVP.